The Highlights

Check out some of our career highlights.

Converted Plaintiffs Technical Error Into Dismissal
Convinced judge to dismiss potentially problematical retaliation lawsuit for plaintiffs failure to timely obtain service on correct defendant. Plaintiff attempted to prosecute case against numerous defendants he thought were his employers, but was ultimately found to have failed to timely bring correct employer entity into lawsuit.

Race Discrimination/Retaliation
Won summary judgment in a problematical lawsuit where laid off employee sued for race discrimination and retaliation when she was the only one selected for layoff at her worksite. Case was further complicated by fact that employer was hiring at same time as it was laying off employees. Court granted summary judgment against the employee and ordered the plaintiff to reimburse employer/client for costs. Published opinion: Tucker v. SAS Institute Inc., 462 F.Supp.2d 715 (N.D. Texas 2006).

Non-compete Enforcement/Theft of Trade Secrets
Won temporary restraining order, temporary and permanent injunction and otherwise favorable outcome on behalf of background investigations company, after employee received assignment from boss to research feasibility of marketing certain type of investigation services and, instead, employee began making plans to quit and start own company offering same investigation services. Employee was required to give all internet domain names on which employee “squatted” in furtherance of the competing business back to former employer and to refrain from competing with former employer, from soliciting former employer’s employees, and from using confidential information.

Sanctions Against Frivolous Plaintiffs Lawyer
After obtaining summary judgment for hospital employer on race discrimination claims, received award of sanctions from federal judge against employees lawyer for his “unreasonable and vexatious pursuit” of frivolous claims.

Obtained $6 Million Settlement Refund
Worked as part of defense team for highly publicized nationwide gender, national origin, race, and sex harassment case initiated by the EEOC and a well-known personal injury firm. Defeated class certification and negotiated an $8.5 million Consent Decree settlement with the EEOC. Ultimately obtained an unprecedented order from the federal court directing the EEOC to refund $6 million of the $8.5 million settlement back to the employer.

Workers Compensation Retaliation
Won a jury verdict on behalf of general contractor where welder was terminated for “performance deficiencies” just two weeks after he reported a serious, workers compensation injury from a large, metal can falling on his head. Jury concluded there had been no wrongful discharge and awarded no damages. Thompson v. Brazos M&E, 2005WL517578 (149th Dist. Ct., Brazoria County, Tex., Feb. 10, 2005).

Pregnancy Discrimination
Obtained defense judgment against employee suing for pregnancy discrimination. Employee was terminated for excessive absences due to complications related to pregnancy. Plaintiffs lawyer withdrew from case after numerous instances of perjury were elicited during plaintiffs deposition. DeLeon v. Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, Inc., 2005WL2667350 (S.D. Texas 2005).

Plaintiffs Key Witness Jailed for Perjury
Obtained finding of contempt and criminal perjury sanctions against key plaintiffs witness who purposefully hid and lied about smoking gun audio tape of alleged wrongdoing by management in multi-plaintiff harassment/discrimination lawsuit in federal court. Key witness was sentenced to jail time and ordered to reimburse attorneys fees to employer client.

Title VII “Employee” Status Defeated
Won important victory for trucking industry against former independent contractor driver, who alleged he was an employee because he was “controlled” by being required to be at the trucking facility at the same time every day, to wear a uniform, to have a logo on his truck, to return paperwork following a delivery, and to remain at the facility after his assignments were completed. The court held that the driver was an independent contractor rather than an employee and, therefore, that driver was not eligible for damages under Civil Rights Act. The court also dismissed the driver’s race discrimination and retaliation claims under a different federal statute. Published opinion: DeSouza v. EGL Eagle Global Logistics, LP, 596 F.Supp. 2d 456 (D. Conn. 2009).

Commission Contracts Repayment
Won a judgment on behalf of large software company against former salesperson on behalf of employer against former salesperson to recoup bonus he refused to pay back to employer after his $1 million sale canceled. Fought case all the way to the Texas Supreme Court, which agreed that ex-employees technical argument did not alter the clear intent of the commission contract that a bonus was only owed on a completed sale. Published opinion: SAS Institute Inc. v. Breitenfeld, 167 S.W.3d 840 (Tex. 2005).

Sex Harassment/Retaliation
Obtained defense judgment against sex harassment and retaliation plaintiff alleging she was fired for reporting an illegal sexual relationship with her supervisor to her company. Case complicated by fact that employee was laid off the same month as her report of the relationship.

FMLA Retaliation
Obtained judgment for hospital against former employee bringing FMLA claim who was advised she was approved for FMLA leave, but who had actually not worked the requisite minimum number of hours for eligibility under the FMLA. Citing to a Department of Labor regulation, Plaintiff argued that because employer hospital approved her leave, it waived any right to challenge her eligibility at a later date. Court ruled in favor of hospital holding that the regulation effected an impermissible alteration of the statute.

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